2 Polish Right-Wing Ministers Blasted Over 'Protocols' by the Forward

2 Polish Right-Wing Ministers Blasted Over 'Protocols'

Image by Getty Images

The Anti-Defamation League has criticized two Polish government officials for their failure to denounce the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

“We are disappointed that two senior government ministers passed up on opportunities this past week to state unequivocally that ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is an anti-Semitic fiction,” said Andrew Srulevitch, ADL’s assistant director for international affairs in an email to the Forward on November 16.

Srulevitch was referring to comments made by Poland’s new foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski and new culture minister Piotr Glinski.

The ADL has documented high levels of belief in Jewish conspiracy theories through surveys it has conducted over many years in Poland. The Protocols, circulated by czarist secret police, promote the belief that there is an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world.

The ADL had previously called upon the new Polish defense minister, Antoni Macierewicz, to retract and apologize for statements he made about the “Protocols” during a 2002 radio broadcast in which he said: “Experience shows there are such groups in Jewish circles.”

In a November 9 letter to the new Polish prime minister, Beata Szydlo, ADL national director, Jonathan Greenblatt, expressed hope that the prime minister would not tolerate such beliefs in the government of the Law and Justice party.

However, when Szydlo’s minister of foreign affairs was asked on November 13 during a Polish morning radio show about the new government’s response to the ADL letter, Waszcykowski answered with reference to “the impact of the Jewish lobby.” He mentioned the book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby,” which he called the Jewish lobby.

Waszcykowski said that Poland will create its own lobby and its own narratives — and is considering a lawsuit.

“We also want to create a Polish anti-defamation league which would present Polish narratives, that we were a country and a nation which was also the victim in history,” he said.

His comment stunned a prominent Holocaust scholar, professor Barbara Engelking of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw.

“He seems to confound the Protocols, a czarist forged document, with modern rules of democratic lobbying action,” said said.

American Holocaust researcher Lily Elbaum said the statements of Waszcykowski and Glinski confirm the general direction of Poland’s new Law and Justice government, which she characterizes as “populist, right wing, xenophobic, and borderline anti-Semitic.”

“The idea of creating an institution which will defend Poland’s good name is not a new one,” Elbaum said. “It was part of their campaign. It is all pathetic and sad.”


2 Polish Right-Wing Ministers Blasted Over 'Protocols'

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

2 Polish Right-Wing Ministers Blasted Over 'Protocols'

Thank you!

This article has been sent!